Meeting People by the Fire
22 Oct '18 — talking to silhouettes for several hours
This weekend I had a chance to meet people without seeing them clearly.
I don’t think I’ve ever had the experience.
My husband and I were sitting by a low fire pit. We were at a mushroom picking event where we didn’t know anyone. People gathered around to warm themselves. While chatting and introducing ourselves, I noticed that I could only make out silhouettes. There wasn’t enough light to see anyone’s face. The most defining features were outlines, of hair, hats, jackets. I noticed how much people bent and moved to express themselves, not only through gestures but through the shift of weight from one leg to the other. Voices were the dominant characteristic that set apart one person over another. There was someone smoking a vanilla flavored cigarette–so much can be told from scent alone.
It wasn’t possible for anyone to make eye contact. I was less conscious of how I might have appeared to others (is there something on my face? did I scape away last bits of dinner from the corners of my mouth?). Meeting new people without without assertive eye contact was far less intimidating and far more enjoyable.
There’s less pressure for everyone.